Citing mounting costs for keeping the 19,600-seat arena competitive for concerts and to provide basketball fans more amenities, Heat executives say they will need more help from Miami-Dade to sustain the arena’s current top-notch quality into the middle of the century. They warn that without the start of a new wave of upgrades, the facility faces the fate of the team’s original home at Miami Arena, which was demolished five years ago.Asking for a new arena these days seems just rude - ask the Rays - but public dollars for a renovation? Field of Schemes says it's the new thing to do, because, obviously, nobody builds an arena to last more than 15 years anymore.
Miami-Dade pays the arena $6.4 million a year under a deal that runs through 2029. In exchange for building and financing the $360 million arena on county land, owner Micky Arison negotiated an agreement that includes the yearly subsidy and a profit-sharing formula that has yet to deliver any money for Miami-Dade.
But let's just remember these are the same Miami Heat that fired its entire ticket sales staff when they signed The Big Three and sold out every game. In the same City of Miami that's not turning out to Marlins games. Looking for subsidies in the same economic climate that doomed the Dolphins' public subsidy campaign.
So just like LeBron shouldn't count his championships before they hatch, the Heat better not hold its breath for those public dollars. Hey, if Jeff Vinik can do it in Tampa, I'm sure the Heat can figure it out.